This month Colorado witnessed the two largest pumpkins it has on record, both breaking the state record of 1,685 pounds set in 2016. The largest pumpkin of the two, now setting a new state record, is named Howie, grown by Chad New. Howie weighed in at 1,783 pounds during the October 1st weigh-off at Nick’s Garden Center in Aurora. Howie is on display at the Denver Botanic Gardens’ main York St. location until at least October 26 and will also be featured during the Glow At The Gardens event. Afterwards, according to the Botanic Gardens, New will break open Howie for seeds and the pumpkin will be composted onsite.
The second biggest pumpkin weighing in at 1,729 pounds is named Greta, grown by Bred Bledsoe, an Aurora firefighter. Greta made an appearance at Aurora Fire Station 11 to promote Fire Prevention Week after having been on a victory tour since it won the Fort Collins Nursery annual Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off on October 8th. According to an article by Denverite, The Bledsoe family intends to eventually turn Greta into a massive jack-o’-lantern, but they still haven’t decided on a design. Bledsoe hopes to auction off some of Greta’s seeds ahead of the next growing season.
Greta and Howie are connected since New and Bledsoe knew each other. Denverite reports that the two growers became friends early on in the growing season process with New assisting Bledsoe throughout the process in areas like pollination. In fact, Bleshoe stated: “The pumpkin that set the state record is what pollinated the second biggest pumpkin ever grown in Colorado, so I felt like we locked in some pretty cool genetics.”
For any Colorado residents interested in growing their own pumpkins, Plant Talk Colorado offers some advice such as the ideal conditions, the process of fertilization, how to water them, and more.